Amy Tries Again


Temperate
January 5, 2014, 9:45 PM
Filed under: Miscellanea

There are temperatures I find…well, difficult.

Now, those who know me in Australia just read the above and thought ‘Yeah.  She’s kind of sweaty.  Sort of a tomato shade. I’m pretty sure she had heatstroke last time I saw her.’  Chums from northerly climes, however, would muse ‘Oh, ol’ drippy-nose-ice-fingers.  So that means the constant shivering isn’t early stage Parkinson’s?  Good for her.  Good for her.’

Joke’s on you, suckers.  I can’t do any temperature.  Well, that’s not quite true.  Heat is terrible, but there’s something to be said for running through the sprinkler while the air is all mangoes and lightning.  The worst coffee tastes better when you’re gripping its cardboard cup (no cupholders.  I need that warmth for me) in gloved hands and watching your breath fog.  If you’re prepared for the weather, dressed for it, armed with ways to control your climate as best you can – it’s doable.  It’s even kind of fun.

Here’s the problem: temperatures change.  Often quite suddenly.  Don’t worry, the above was not a fake-out designed to lure you into reading about global warming.  I’m talking about those instant changes – one moment, you’re huddling against the side of the bus stop for warmth like a Dickensian urchin (had said Dickensian urchin had access to the number 35 to Ocean Terminal) and the next you’re hurtling along in a room on wheels stuffed with two layers of humanity steaming up the windows with their body heat.  You’re hiding ineffectively in the shadow of a street sign, forcing yourself to gulp down water that’s gone from iced to lukewarm in about ten minutes, but seconds later you’re inside an enormous chilled cavern of a lobby.  Marble walls, cold to touch.  Changes like those make my body confused and terrified.  Naturally, it throws tantrums.

Cold.  Brrr.  Might do some shivering.  Can’t feel my toes.  Cold.  Cold, cold, cold – what?  Sorry?  We’re inside now?  It’s warm?  No.  No, that’s a mistake.  I’m cold.  See?  Look, I’m shivering!  Do you see me shivering?  You’re not looking.  I’ll just do a bit more shivering.  Yep.  Cold.  Looks like I was right about being OH MY GOD OH MY GOD IT’S HOT IN HERE IT’S TOO HOT, THESE THINGS, GET THEM OFF ME, NO, NO, NO, TOO HOT I’M JUST GOING TO KEEP SHIVERING UNTIL YOU MAKE IT GO AWAY BUT ALSO I’M GOING TO TURN RED AND START SWEATING BECAUSE NOW IT’S TOO HOT OH GOD I’M COLD.  HOT.  TOO HOT.  Cold.  Very cold.  Hey, I can feel my face again!  That’s kind of nice.  It’s too hot, though. Want me to do some shivering?

Eventually, equilibrium returns – but in a cruel twist of fate, by then it’s usually time to head home from the lovely cosy teahouse or exit the icy blast of the cinema.  The whole thing happens again in reverse.  You know what the worst thing is?  Christmas shopping in a pedestrian mall.  Doesn’t matter what hemisphere.  The weather is at its most extreme, or near enough to it, and I’m in and out and in and out and in and out of shops. Cold climates have the additional problem of WHAT THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THIS COAT AND THIS COAT AND THESE GLOVES AND THIS HAT, but perhaps that’s still more dignified than my summertime attempts to huddle inside my own handbag for warmth because my dress doesn’t have any sleeves.

There’s not much that can be done for people like me.  Perhaps someday science will discover an effective treatment for hysterical internal thermostats, and I’ll frolic amongst the normals, dashing merrily from beach to walk-in freezer without a moment’s pause.  Until then: I have a plan.  If I always carry one of these:

and one of these:

then nothing can ever go too far wrong.

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